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Posts Tagged ‘Preaching’

It’s Sunday Morning.  I know sometimes ministry is not easy.  So here’s a little motivation from the Word of God for preachers before you enter your pulpit and teachers before you go in to instruct your class.

Last week we saw from 1 Peter 5:1-3 that God requires the following from elders of the church:

  1. Minister to God’s people that God has placed in their care right now and not just hoping to minister to people they might minister to in the future: “shepherd the flock of God among you,” (v.2a)
  2. Minister willingly and not grudgingly: “exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily,” (v.2b)
  3. Minister “according to the will of God” (v.2c) which of course involves knowing His will and His ways as taught in the Bible.
  4. Minister not for ulterior motive: “and not for sordid gain” (v.2d)
  5. Minister zealously: “but with eagerness” (v.2e)
  6. Minister by example and not force: “nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock” (v.3)

As you can tell the requirement of God for elders and the standard of ministry is very high.  Yet what would be the godly motivation that would fuel us to minister in such a Christ-like fashion?

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It’s Sunday Morning.  Here’s a little motivation for preachers before you enter your pulpit from the Word of God.

 

1 Timothy 5:17-19 states

 The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses.

Note in verse 17 that Paul’s intention in writing this is so that those who serve in the church as Elders/Pastors to “work hard at preaching and teaching.”  Verse 18 tips us that he’s going to give us the reasons for this with the use of the word “for” which shows the motivation.  I want to look at one of the motivation for this Sunday and Lord willing another next Sunday.

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murray-iain

Here’s my brief notes from the Shepherd’s Conference, a big conference for Pastors who are into accurate preaching of God’s Word.

Here are the notes from a session that was more from Church history:

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preaching-old-testament-narratives

Benjamin Walton. Preaching Old Testament Narratives.  Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, June 27th 2016.  256 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase:  Amazon

Most Christian preachers are probably more comfortable preaching from New Testament epistles than Old Testament narrative.  Yet as the book points out forty percent of the Bible is narrative with a large part of that found in the Old Testament.  If preachers are to be faithful in preaching all of God’s Word they need to do it well.  The author Benjamin Walton has written an excellent resource for expositional preachers who want to preach faithfully the Word of God from Old Testament narratives while at the same time desiring to preach with the intention of impacting contemporary audiences today.  Unlike most works on preaching this is a “two-in-one” in that it covers the interpretative skills that a preacher needs as he studies Old Testament narratives and also the practical skills of crafting a sermon.  You really get the bang for your buck with this book.  One really gets the feeling that the author is writing for the purpose of pastors and teachers able to do all the aspects of expositional preaching well.

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I posted a little ditty on our Facebook page and Twitter but I thought I post this on the blog as well.  (If you haven’t followed us on social media feel free to like and follow us).

Biblically faithful preaching is harder to find today in more ways than one.  Perhaps the most common problem is that some no longer like to preach on sin.  If that is true I imagine it is more true that most people do not like Biblical preaching because it talks about sin.

But Why Must Preachers talk about Sin?

Here’s why:

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Should She Preach

The book will be shipped out October 1st, but you can already order it!  To order the book, click HERE.

This is a book on whether women can preach and specifically preach in the open air scene.  As the author points out, sometimes among some who are theologically conservative, the line is blurred concerning whether women can engage in open air preaching while theologically they won’t allow women to preach at church or be a pastor, etc.  This book is calling Complementarians to be consistent.  The author, Tony Miano, approaches this topic with great humility and confesses that he use to be among the camp that thought it was appropriate for women to engage in open air evangelism.  An open air preacher who has worked with Ray Comfort’s ministry, Tony does not engage in personal attacks of those who disagree but engages the issue with Christian conviction, gentleness and a winsome manner: I was touch to read his apology for misleading people in the past with his former position.  I appreciated Miano’s call for the readers not to read with an open mind, but an open Bible; in other words, to be Bereans.  The book is divided into two parts, with the first being the presentation of his case for why women should not be engaged in open air preaching.  Chapter one takes us back to Adam and Eve with God’s creation and His intended roles for man and woman.  He argues that gender roles were existent before the Fall.  Chapter five is the meat of the book where Miano does word studies on the Greek word for preaching, woman, etc.  Miano also analyzes the counter-arguments.  Miano makes it clear that he’s not against women evangelizing and it was helpful that he delineated what women can do for evangelism in chapter eight  He also has a moving story of what a man cannot do in evangelism that a woman can (you will have to read it yourself).  Part two features various interviews of pastors and preachers on their view of women and whether they can preach.  While I don’t want to take away from the main focus of the book, I also wanted to note other things I like about Miano’s work apart from the women preaching issue:  I appreciated how the preface was evangelistic which reveal how Tony Miano is a true evangelist, since you can never know if a nonbeliever is reading this book.  Miano has a very nuance definition of evangelism as well.  As a former Marine radio operator, I also appreciated his analogy of the prayer warrior’s role in evangelism: “The praying saint is the radio operator of a platoon pinned down by enemy fire, calling in air strikes to protect and maybe even save his comrades in arms.”  One gets to see what makes Tony tick:  He desires to be biblical and raises the par of open air preaching above the stereotype that sadly can be far too typical: He stresses the importance of local church and the par for open air preachers to be raised!  This will be the topic for his next book, “Should He preach?”  Seeing how helpful this book is, I am already anticipating the next one.

NOTE: This book is provided to me free by Tony Miano without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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JJ

What can I say about this book?  Well, its not just any book.  It’s one of a kind.  And a kind that happens to deal with one of the most important elements in the life of the church.  It’s a book on preaching and preachers.  I could see why Dr. Jones would want to write a book on preaching and preachers.  For example, in this clear definition concerning the work of the church and the pastor, he states, “The primary task of the Church and of the Christian minister is the preaching of the Word of God.”  In other words it is the business of the church to make sure that the preaching of God’s Word is not subordinate to other areas in the life of the church.  Preaching is essential, because the preacher stands between God and souls that are on the verge of entering Hell and life of voidness that is separated from the love of God.  For Dr. Jones, “The preacher alone is the one who can do this.  He is the only one who is in a position to deal with the greatest need of the world.”  There is no substitute for it because preaching is the means that has been ordained by God to convert dead souls; and to edify living souls.

There are so many things that can be addressed concerning this book.  Once you read this book you probably will scratch your head at some of the doctor’s comments and may not agree with every single jot and tittle of what the man says.  You will see some of his strong opinions, but they are worth your attention, nonetheless.  It will cause you to think.  Some of the foundational points that Dr. Jones mentions can be listed under these headings that is somewhat similar to what Mark Dever said in his essay contribution concerning his reading of Dr. Jones’ book: preaching should normally be expository, evangelistic, clear about God, serious, clear about sin, confrontational, not deceptive/manipulative; should proclaim the Gospel; and preaching should proclaim the Gospel because the Gospel is for everyone.

Expository preaching is fundamental to the church.  We need to hear what the verse or passage means because getting the meaning down brings one closer to God.  We should not concoct our own meanings or imaginations into the message.  Preaching should also be evangelistic.  Although edifying the saints is critical the growth of believers, evangelistic messages are also important because the preacher needs to come to grips with the reality that perhaps not everyone in the pew is a believer.  Preaching should also be clear about God.  Why should we be clear about God?  We want to be clear about God because we want people to have a sense of God and His holy presence.  Dr. Jones once said in his lectures concerning the topic of being clear about God, “I am never tired of saying that the real difficulty of evangelism today is that we do not spend sufficient time with the doctrine of God.”  Even though he is referring to evangelism, the principle still applies to the pulpit.  Clarity about God is vital because he is the heartbeat of the message.  In terms of being serious when it comes to preaching, Dr. Jones responded to an interview done by Carl Henry.  Carl Henry said, “You have a great sense of humor, your friends say, but seldom use it in the pulpit.”  Dr. Jones replied by saying, “I find it very difficult to be humorous in the pulpit.  I always feel in the pulpit that I am in the terrible position of standing between God and souls that may go to hell.  That position is too appalling for humour.”  That is a heart-check moment for me.  Whenever I get the opportunity to preach, may God instill a sense of continual seriousness upon my mind.  As for preaching being clear about sin and being confrontational about sin, the doctor says that we are to be respectful towards the person, but we also must be merciless on the sinner because of their rebellion against God.  The sinner that has not placed his full trust in Christ is an abomination to God.   And just to give an anecdotal evidence of this, the doctor did back up his statements when he was in the heat of the moment.  For example, in one of his sermons, he said, “The church of Christ is a church of believers, an association of people banded together by a common belief and a common love.  You don’t believe?  Well, above all, do not pretend that you do, go to the country and the seaside.  All I ask of you is, be consistent.  When someone dies in your family, do not come to bury him.  Go to the sea-side for consolotion.”  That may seem harsh, but is true love.  He cares for them that much, that he is willing to tell them their reality of their condition so that they may come to Christ.  Another area that must be covered is the manipulation in preaching.  Dr. Jones adds a crucial statement that is fundamental to our awareness concerning manipulation, “The will should always be approached primarily through the mind, the intellect, and then the affections.”  That is a great quote.  In the days we are living in, many churches manipulate people by making people think they are saved if they just sign a card, say a sinners’ prayer, walk a aisle, or make a decision for Christ – all without their mind being washed by the Gospel.  But what’s the use when the mind has not been affected by the Gospel?  The mind is critical.  If the mind is not washed by the Word and affected by the the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5), then one does not truly understand and accept the Gospel.  It is the mind that substantiates the human will and emotion.  The last fundamental point I would like to point out is this: “evangelistic preaching is for all.”  In other words, believers and unbelievers need to hear the Gospel.  For the Christian, the Gospel is the source that sanctifies them in this life and the life to come.  For the unbeliever, the Gospel is the only hope concerning one’s freedom from sin and is the only hope concerning one’s escape from hell in the afterlife.

I highly recommend this book.  I would say that besides the preaching books that focuses on the mechanics of preaching, this is the best book on the treatment of preaching and preachers.  It will electrify your soul if you have a heart to preach God’s Word.

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